After the 1-0 defeat to Man City, Thomas Tuchel has praised Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante for their performances on Saturday afternoon.
As he highlighted their role in the game, however, Tuchel failed to hide his disappointment in the players who played further forward, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, and Romelu Lukaku.
“Yes, I think Kova played a major part in it alongside NG in all of our attack,” the boss told Chelsea TV.
“[This] tells you the story, these are our ‘double six’ on the field, they take care about the work rate, the ball recoveries, and even take care of creating chances.”
“The performance in the opponents’ half was not good enough in the first half. We lost too many balls, lack positioning and timing in counter-attacks.
“We need to step up there, we need to show more quality on this kind of level.[We] cannot always on Jorgi to score penalties — it’s simply like this.”
It was telling that two of the three players Tuchel subbed off were the attackers, although Lukaku did stay on for 90 minutes despite an ineffective display.
The first half was one of the most dispiriting performances of the season as Chelsea failed to attempt a single shot. It was not much better after the break, and it took Man City’s goal for the Blues to show some signs of life but it was too late by that moment.